RARE: See This Baby Born With 2 Faces And 2 Brains In Indonesia (Photos)
A baby has been born in Indonesia with two faces because his conjoined twin did not develop properly in the womb.
Two-month-old Gilang Andika, from Batam, a city in Indonesia about 20 miles (32km) across the sea from Singapore, has two faces and two brains but just one head.
The complication has left him looking disfigured and suffering from a potentially fatal brain condition, which is causing fluid to build up.
Although he has just one body with two arms and two legs, Gilang is technically a conjoined twin – a condition which affects one in every 250,000 births.
On his head he has the face and brain of a sibling which did not grow its own body in the womb, because their mother’s egg did not completely split in two during pregnancy.
His parents, Ernilasari and Mustafa, now desperately want help to save their son’s life after local doctors told them they were unable to operate.
Because of his rare predicament, Gilang cannot be breastfed, so has to be fed milk through a tube.
And doctors have said he is not likely to live long because of his condition.
The unfortunate infant also has a condition called hydrocephalus, which is caused by a build-up of fluid in the brain.
Many babies who are born with hydrocephalus have long-term brain damage, which can cause learning disabilities, speech, vision or memory problems, or epilepsy.
Mother Ernilasari and father Mustafa did not know about their son’s serious illness until he was born by Caesarean section.
Parents cannot afford treatment to save their son
They want to seek treatment for Gilang, but they don’t have the money.
Dr Nenden Ismawati, who looked after Gilang at Awal Bros Hospital in Batam, says it is unlikely doctors will be able to perform surgery.
He told Kompas News: ‘Indeed, we suggested [surgery] to one of the hospitals in Jakarta which has better equipment than Awal Bros Hospital, but it also does not mean it he can be operated on right away, because doctors in Jakarta are still discussing the case.’
Doctors did not notice the problem in three ultrasound scans
During her pregnancy Ernilasari said she did not feel anything strange, and doctors at the Chamata Sahidiya Panbil Hospital did not notice the problem despite three ultrasound scans.
‘The doctor just said the baby’s head is enlarged and he is in breech position,’ Ernilasari said.
Now Gilang’s parents are desperate to find a way to separate their child’s head, as the abnormality has caused health problems for the little one.
It is believed he has a disorder called diprosopus, one of the rarest deformities in humans, and one which most do not survive beyond birth.
The condition is known as craniofacial duplication and causes part or all of the face to be grown twice because of a problem during the egg’s division in the womb.
Curing Gilang will likely involve risky surgery to remove one of his brains and faces, and part of his skull.